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Sat, Jul 23


Epsilon Spires

Claire Rousay + Matchess: Explorations of Sound

A deep-listening experience of embodied sensory perception to engage with skepticism and belief in the healing effects of sound. Claire Rousay and Matchess create fragile, surprising, and intimate compositions that illuminate and explode emotional significance in the minutiae of everyday life.

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Claire Rousay + Matchess: Explorations of Sound
Claire Rousay + Matchess: Explorations of Sound

Time & Location

Jul 23, 2022, 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM EDT

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

Doors 8pm, Performances start  shortly after 8:35pm,  please plan to arrive within that window of time to enjoy a refreshment, experience the art exhibition, and choose your seat to best avoid disrupting the performances. Thanks!

Claire Rousay is a sound artist and percussionist currently based in San Antonio, Texas. Her performances and recordings explore queerness, human relationships, and self-perception with music that zeroes in on personal emotions and the minutiae of everyday life — voicemails, haptics, environmental recordings, stopwatches, whispers, and conversations — exploding their significance. Rousay paints pictures of life with raw sound; fragile, surprising, and intimately beautiful.

"She turns found sounds into musique concrète that locates grains of emotion in the mundane — a car door slamming, a lighter igniting, the plink of an Apple keyboard mid-text. What a songwriter might convey in poetry, Rousay evokes with raw audio. You could call it sound art, but it’s viscerally vulnerable." - New York Times

Whitney Johnson, also known as MATCHESS is an artist who interprets the unknown with sound. She composes, improvises, and collaborates with the viola, as well as the organ, electronics, and vocalization. Her techniques reproduce meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling, and field recording.

Three recent works have engaged with skepticism and belief in the effects of sound on the body. Huizkol (premiered at Lampo), The Tuning of the Elements (curated by the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago), and Fundamental 256 Hz (commissioned by Longform Editions), each considered the possibility of brainwave entrainment, an alternative healing technique that uses binaural beats to induce a relaxed or energized mental state.

In the Matchess Trilogy (2013-2018, Trouble in Mind Records), she used the limited palette of a 1960s Ace Tone Top-5 combo organ, an analog Rhythm Ace drum machine, viola, and voice to craft transient sound collages on beds of droning ambient noise.

In tandem with her sound practice, she received her doctorate in the sociology of sound from the University of Chicago in 2018, writing a dissertation on the cultural value of embodied sensory perception, particularly in the discipline of sound art. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be a postdoctoral researcher in 2022 on sound and technology in the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University in Sweden.

"Whitney Johnson’s music shoots straight for the subconscious." -Pitchfork

Interview with MATCHESS about the influence of Vipassana meditation on her music:


  • Claire Rousay & Matchess

    Admission for one to Explorations of Sound: Claire Rousay + Matchess. Refreshments will be provided. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. $2 from every ticket goes directly towards the historic preservation of the venue. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

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